Senior Jessica Hartwell unleashed a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to help Texas Tech win its final game of the regular season.
LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 17 Texas Tech softball team ended the regular season on a high note as a three-run blast from Jessica Hartwell and seven-run bottom of the sixth lifted the Red Raiders to a 9-6 victory over No. 21 Kentucky on Senior Day.
In what proved to be a pivotal sixth inning, three Red Raiders – Peyton Blythe, Hartwell and Trenity Edwards – sent balls out of the park to give Tech its first lead of the game. The Red Raiders finished the game with 10 hits and Breanna Russell led all hitters with three on the day.
Erin Edmoundson, now 18-3, earned the victory after she entered the circle in relief in the top of the second. The sophomore southpaw fanned three hitters in 5.1 innings and limited a powerful Kentucky offense to just four hits.
With the top-25 victory, the Red Raiders finished the regular season with an impressive 38-13 record. Tech improved to 30-3 against non-conference opponents.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Tech starter Missy Zoch and the Tech defense held off Kentucky in the top of the first, but a walk, sacrifice bunt and single plated a run for the Wildcats in the second. Zoch was replaced by Edmoundson after her fourth walk of the game and the sophomore helped Tech escape the jam with a quick pop up to second base.
A two-run homer from Kentucky’s Mallory Peyton put the Wildcats up by three in the top of the third, but the Red Raiders battled back after Edmoundson posted her first scoreless inning in the fourth.
After being held off the board for three straight innings, the Tech offense came alive in the bottom of the fourth when Hartwell started the frame with a free trip to first. Russell drilled a single to left field and Zoe Jones drove in Tech’s first two runs of the game thanks to a single and error in left field.
Though the Red Raiders cut into Kentucky’s lead, 3-2, a three-run home run in the top of the fifth distanced the Wildcats’ lead to 6-2.
Edmoundson posted a three-up, three-down frame in the top of the sixth and the Red Raiders kicked it into overdrive with seven runs in the bottom half to take their first lead of the day.
Russell began the offensive onslaught with a single to left field and Blythe launched the first home run of her young Tech career off Kentucky reliever Autumn Humes to cut into the Wildcats’ lead, 6-4. With the bases cleared, pinch-hitter Shelby Henderson came up with a two-out single and a base hit from Hamilton put runners on the corners.
An RBI pinch-hit from Morgan Hornback cut Kentucky’s lead down to one and, in true senior fashion, Hartwell delivered the go-ahead blow on a three-run homer that cleared the left-field wall.
Immediately after, Edwards belted Tech’s third home run of the inning and launched a solo shot over the left-field wall to give Tech a 9-6 advantage.
The Wildcats tried to claw their way back into the game and back-to-back singles in the top of the seventh put immediate pressure on the Tech defense. However, Edmoundson buckled down and ended the game with a pop up to third, strikeout and fly ball to Satchell, Tech’s senior shortstop, to complete the sweep.